Did I Give The Right Advice?

Did I Give The Right Advice?Guys, as you know, I give advice here at the site and sometimes I even publish the Q & A as ‘Dear Lisa’. Is my advice always good? I hope so! However, I get all kinds of people writing me with questions and dare I say PROBLEMS.

So, this woman contacted me a month or so ago. I read through her long email. I gave it considerable thought before responding, of course.

Here’s the thing: Her question haunts me.

I must make clear, I’m not  a professional but I’m an expert. An expert is someone with EXperience.

That’s me.

So, this woman was writing to me about her sister. Her sister was divorcing a narcissist. Was he a narcissist? I don’t know that for sure but I take her word for it.

She was worried about the safety of the children. The father had recently been awarded his parental rights without any supervision. First, she explained that her sister had suffered abuse by this man. The children had not.

I believe in father’s rights. Children need both parents in their life. They really do! With that in mind I proceeded to give this advice:

“Focus your concern on your sister and her children. Love your niece and nephew, LOVE your sister and help her now with whatever she needs. Buying groceries, babysitting, giving her a hug, helping her with her expenses that now no doubt, are beyond her capabilities. As for the husband? You have no control over him or what he does. So, why focus your attention on something or someone you cannot change or help? What you can help with is making your sister’s life easier.”

Then I lay awake at night wondering, did I tell her the right thing?

Can a sibling fight a court order on their sister’s behalf? If they’re not the parent then they would have no right to intervene.

An then I wake up to the news…on Christmas day a father had murdered his young daughters. A horrific front page story. The community was ‘pulling together’ for the poor mother etc. There is nothing anyone can do to help this woman now. Am I right? It’s too late! He’s taken her children!

OMG, I can’t take hearing about these stories. It happened close to home too. in Victoria, B.C. a place my Beau and I often visit. Does that make it more real? Maybe. But what came to my mind was did I give bad advice to this woman? Help me here.

I have written, and made a video about Parental Alienation. I have also received many comments of thanks but also plenty of comments from men who are resentful of us mothers. They think we’re all in on a grand conspiracy to keep them from their own children. So wrong. Fathers are equally important. But…oh, God help me for saying children are safe with vengeful fathers

This murderous father was granted a court order for equal parenting. And with that power he decided to take the children from their mother forever. Apparently he botched his own suicide after the deed. And this is not the first case in the news! It’s not one, isolated incident making all fathers look bad. Nevertheless, I’ve no doubt, his lawyer will try to get him off his crimes by pleading insanity. Bull shit.

Just this morning, after drafting this post, I read in the newspaper that a domestic violence spokes-person is pleading for the judges to undergo educational seminars to better understand domestic violence and the signs of serious risk to women and children. She said that the judge in this case minimized the signs and allegations. And she states that “…domestic violence is the most predictable and preventable type of violence.”

I’m not surprised though that the The Law Society of B.C. (a governing body made up of lawyers that review complaints of professional conduct of practicing lawyers) has responded to the woman’s public plea for action, by defending the judge’s decision saying that she did not minimize the evidence of abuse submitted in the case.

The father threatened to blow up the house. There were other violent outbursts that the wife had endured, even an allegation of inappropriate touching of the eldest daughter. All of this…still he gets his father rights upheld in a court of law!

Excuse me, but when did it become *normal* for fathers to threaten to blow up their house?

I feel this judge has somehow normalized the violent temper of a father. This is unacceptable. Regardless of whether the judge made a poor decision or not, the damage is done, isn’t it?

Could this tragedy have been prevented? OR do we go “pro father” all the way and hope for the best? I felt this true story was a warning…don’t be so quick to believe fathers deserve equal custody.

So, did I give this woman the right advice? OR should I have said, go to court and get those children away from their father now—for he is bound to take them away forever! I lay awake wondering if this woman will suffer that same horrific outcome. It’s me or no one—some men say. And then they prove it.

But then how can we predict these kind of events? While I can’t be certain of anyone’s situation, I also can’t help but parallel events in the news and see them as a warning for all of us.

Know the signs of violence. Know the signs of Alienation which can quickly turn violent. Report anything unusual. Even typing this now sounds trite and unhelpful.

If you are going through a custody battle, please protect yourself. Please remember we can’t predict the future. All we can do is fight for our rights and try to protect our children and sometimes we are unsuccessful.  I hope the judges will better understand the complaints of parents who are in danger…because where there’s a mother or a father in danger, there’s also children who are vulnerable.

Do share your thoughts!

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15 Replies to “Did I Give The Right Advice?”

  1. Lisa, I agree with you…all men are not alike but you can’t trust the ones driven by anger and vengeance. They can go to any extent. Self-protection is imperative in such cases.

    Often I say a mother should have a greater right over her children as her contribution has been underestimated for ages. She is the one who bears the child in her womb for nine months, she is the one who suffers, can’t eat properly due to sickness caused by hormonal changes, it is her body that goes through all those changes a man doesn’t even know. Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches aptly fits her condition. She goes through insomnia, labor pains and sometimes C section, has to feed the child for at least one year and keep her career goals aside. What does a father do? His role starts after the child is born and that too many fathers don’t even care to give 20% attention! Why should they be given equal rights if they can’t respect the mother of his children?

    I appreciate your concern and passion that has gone into this post.
    Balroop Singh recently posted…How Relevant Are Short Stories In Our Lives?My Profile

    1. You hit the nail on the head, Balroop. If a father cannot respect the mother of his children, how can he parent equally and fairly? Of course, barring problems with the mother—such as addiction or mental illness. And yes, mothers go through the physical process and bond before the child is born. I can’t think of anything crueler in this world then a father depriving the mother of her own children. Thanks for weighing in.

  2. You are such a compassionate and caring person and it’s so hard to say what is and isn’t the best advice in this situation. I think you gave good advice, honestly like you said, we can’t predict what will happen. I think there are truly no easy answers. You are a good person.
    Beth recently posted…What’s Up Weekend 1.12.18My Profile

  3. Oh this is such a tricky, tricky, tricky….I think I read this story online if this is the same case and I just couldn’t bare it. I think that you are right in that you need to know the signs of violence – and I immediately thought of Kim who writes the blog My Inner Chick who is incredibly vocal of abuse. Her sister was murdered by her husband.
    Her son went on to be a successful doctor. But she talks about all those signs.
    You giving the advice – I mean, you’ll never know what is going on truly in that home/situation. So tricky.
    Kimberly recently posted…New Year, New SymptomsMy Profile

    1. Tricky, indeed. That case was only one of several that I’ve heard about in recent years. Absolutely tragic. Preventable? I can’t say. In fact, I did talk with Kim about this particular query. I wanted to know what her sister’s murderer was like with the children, growing up. Was he abusive? The answer was that he was not except that he was ABSENT. Thanks, Kim for weighing in. I know it’s not a fun topic.

    1. Yes, the legal system is designed to deal with it but sadly, often fails. And you’re right in that a sibling has no authority to deal with a legal situation unless they’re the legal guardian of the children. Thanks for weighing in, Shybiker.

  4. We definitely need stricter laws when it comes to domestic abuse—-it seems to be on the rise, and so often the victims’ rights are overlooked. No matter how you responded to the woman’s question, in the end, she will do what she feels is best.

    1. Yes, I think there’s a general cry out from parents (especially women) who have left abusive husbands who are then awarded shared custody. I think the courts are working hard to better handle these custody cases. Yes, she will do what’s best…hopefully her family’s support is getting her through the transition.

  5. –Hi, Lisa,
    He abuses his children when he abuses their mother. Period.
    The laws are too lenient and soft.
    As far as I know, Mike did not abuse Kay’s children physically, but with his verbal abuse of her every. single. day.
    ….Don’t beat yourself up. When women ask for my advice, sometimes I advise them to other resources cuz we don’t have all the answers.
    Luv u. x from MN.
    My Inner Chick recently posted…He Thought He Could Have Us Both, But We Left Him For Each OtherMy Profile

    1. YES. Absolutely the truth, Kim. Verbal abuse is equally devastating. I also do recommend other places, people, books etc to people. In this case it was hard because the sister had already gone through the legal process and so her only choice would be to appeal (which I told her) but most cannot afford it in time or money 🙁 Thanks for sharing your experience here. As always I value your thoughts! xoxo

  6. She asked for an advice and you gave it to her Lisa. You just know what she was sharing with you. And it’s just your advice, she can then ask other people or make contact with profesionnals. You did your best Lisa.

    I agree with Kim. A man who is violent with the mother of his kids is violent with them . It is something people don’t understand most of the time. And judges are trying their best to give the same chances to fathers and mothers.
    When there is violence, we always should care about the kids. There is danger, even if the kids never got abused during the mariage.
    When I got divorced, I asked for my son to see his dad under supervision…His security was my priority.

    Take care Lisa and thanks for sharing. Laws need to integrate the many issues of Domestic Violence. It does not end with the divorce. It can me even more dramatic after it.

  7. Hi Lisa,

    I do believe you have given this woman the right advice. If anyone is responsible it is the judge and/or jury when it comes to domestic violence.
    I strongly believe that whoever makes these decisions must be trained in domestic violence because most cases of violence comes from the home. Oh dear I can go on and on about this because I was a “victim” of this and now “victor” I have even volunteered in shelters for women.
    Unless the laws are changed, there is not much we can do. We all have to be pro-active when it comes to this and get involved with law makers.
    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…Critical Blogging Decisions You Need To Make in 2018My Profile

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